The key to teaching youth pitching is keeping everything super simple. The easier it is for the student to understand, the better. My goal with my students is to lay the foundational mechanics and ideas about pitching so that they will be able to fill teach and check themselves on the proper mechanics as they grow older and stronger. If I’m instructing a 12 year old, I will give foundational mechanics and explain what they do so they still understand at 14 years old. The same goes for high school pitchers as well; with more strength and experience, the adjustments will be more minor and complicated in nature but will lay the foundation for when he is 18 years old.
I will give any student as much instruction as he wants in any part of the game. In reality, pitching is only a small part of the game. During lessons, my students do not only receive instruction on the mechanics of pitching, but also on the approach, strategy, and mentality of a pitcher and how it all relates to the game of baseball as a whole.
Pitching is highly individualized. Each person is different, with unique strengths and weaknesses. When coaching and instructing, there are certain skills that need to be practiced that look different on each person. The right foundation needs to be made so that when the player grows bigger and stronger, those skills stay with him and do not have to be re-learned. There is a tendency to try to make everyone do the exact same thing the exact same way, and this can be detrimental to the player. My philosophy is to teach the basics of how to throw with enough freedom still there for the individual characteristics to grow; I don’t want to turn my pitchers into identical robots. My goal is to give players the foundation on which they can build using their own unique individuality. Basically, I’m trying to give my students the best possible chance to succeed in their baseball endeavors by safely showing them how to get better and incorporating their own unique strengths.
I can (and will) take a pitcher as far as he wants to go; if he wants to learn, I will do everything I can to help him. I do my best to teach players how to help themselves. I encourage students to research information, to look up and study things on their own, and to ask me questions! When instructing, I love when students ask questions because it means they are interested in getting themselves better want to be actively involved in helping themselves. I love the game of baseball, and helping baseball players get closer to their dream is what I care about.
Each individual is responsible for the effort he puts into the practice. No amount of coaching or instruction will take him where he wants to go without him putting in 100% of the effort required to get him there. I am able to offer the tools that will take him as far as he wants to go, but he has to understand that to get to his potential will require him to work for it himself through commitment and dedication to practice and conditioning to maintain his body and skills. Once he understands that, the sky is the limit.
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